Finished re-arranging dust in the general vicinity of your boots yet? Good, because Tuesday’s here already and it’s time to moan about the referee/Owen Coyle/the price of pies (delete as appropriate) again!
If I remember correctly –and I probably don’t because I went to the game in a virus-induced, zombified state–, the last time Wigan played their first home fixture on a weekday evening they were physically dominated by Wolves, prompting minor uproar from the (eventually successful) anti-Bob brigade. If I were a mainstream journalist, I might be proud to call it ‘second game of the season syndrome‘, but that would be wholly inaccurate and grimace-inducing.
Not that this blog is anything but accurate: I only just noticed I mis-spelled Lewis Grabban’s surname as ‘Grabbam’ in Saturday’s post, but thankfully that has now been rectified. In fact I didn’t really need to draw your attention to this horrendous and equally grimace-inducing error as it is unlikely you noticed, but I am an honest chap. There again, I choose not to admit to being sacked by JWAW Blogs Inc. for constantly drifting off topic so it’s a selective honesty akin to that employed by Latics management. Satire is wonderful, isn’t it?
Anyway, football, or something.
Doncaster exhibited a first half masterclass in how to defend resolutely and finish expertly. Ross Turnbull produced a series of saves to deny Holt, McCann, McClean and Boyce, while Theo Robinson and Chris Brown polished off two well-worked goals that had three sides of the ground groaning “not this again”. 2-0 down at the break and the half time hot dog queue was suitably grumpy.
Grant ‘Tank’ Holt was doing his best to cripple the whole Doncaster backline, delivering his own masterclass in ankle-tapping (to put it mildly). But as they say in Scandinavia, there’s one way to skin a… Viking? Hey, it’s a listed nickname on Wikipedia, go and look it up!
It was something of a surprise that Wigan came away from the first 45 without a goal, however, given their plethora of attempts and a strong penalty shout. Well, I’m assured by 10,000 screaming Wiganers that it *should* been given, but the whole situation was a mess of flying limbs from where I was sat – it only lacked the cartoon sound effects and jaunty piano theme to accompany it. No penalty, you bunch of eager beavers.
Though Doncaster continued their impressive football into the second half, the introduction of Marc-Antoine Fortune breathed new life to Wigan’s attacking setup. Indeed, it was he that won the free kick which Shaun Maloney curled into the bottom right corner on 56 minutes, bringing a previously peeved home crowd to life.
Jean Beausejour also entered the fray and was involved in much of his side’s attacking play, which reached new heights as they experienced their best spell of possession to date. Their shots on target stat was soon to enter double figures, but Donny’s defence remained steadfast through every dangerous ball and long-range strike.
Late night Latics
With time now ebbing away, Latics’ pressing became more frantic. It seemed to work, however, as one final 90th minute push culminated in an 8-yard Leon Barnett strike that tore the goal netting from its pegs. He was as pleased with his effort as a delighted home faithful, flapping his wings like an eagle as Jordi Gomez played rock paper scissors with Turnbull to see whether he would be able to get the ball back.
The drama did not end there, for shortly a team of students from Wigan Little Theatre were to perform a striking tableau on the outfield, to be met with polite applause. Oh sorry, I’m starting to drift again here – count that as the third and final terrible joke of this post. (The first and second being Ben Watson’s passing and… actually no, I’m above such statements.)
Anyway, the visitors almost had the final say. If it weren’t for Scott Carson’s crossbar, Billy Paynter would have had Rovers’ third and decisive goal with only minutes of stoppage time to play, but alas, fortune was now falling in Wigan’s favour. About bloomin’ time, too! Those fairground soothsayers have never got anything right – one fool even said they’d win the cup. Er, oh yeah… (FA Cup reference – check.)
In all, it was a keenly fought fixture with splendid moments for the neutrals out there, but why would they be watching Wigan v Doncaster on a Tuesday evening? Load up your Sega Mega Drive if you want entertainment! I hear Sonic the Hedgehog is all the rage these days.
But in all seriousness (cough), I haven’t even begun to dissect this contest to any extent as to do it justice. The PWU Podcast is your friend in this respect, though you’ll have to be patient little bunnies and check back next week. G’night.